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January 27. 2014 10:01PM

Derry boards gather to discuss goals, obstacles

DERRY — During an annual meeting last week, local board and committee members updated the Town Council on recent activities, goals and some obstacles the groups face.

The town charter requires that the groups meet with the council at least once during the year in January, and more often if needed, said Town Council Chairman Michael Fairbanks, who opened the special meeting.

“That’s what we are required to do. Personally, I think it’s a very good idea,” Fairbanks said. “Maybe we can get over the bumps that we continue to see.”

Each chairman was given six to eight minutes for a presentation.

Conservation Commission Chairman Margaret Ives went first and discussed some recent work by the commission. Ives said one of the commission’s goals is to continue its active land steward program. The stewards work with maintenance, signage and bridge repair on town-owned land.

The commission would also like to get some assistance for reopening a discussion with the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment on an open space development protection plan. The plan hasn’t been discussed in several years, according to officials.

Councilor Neil Wetherbee said the commission didn’t need the council’s assistance and could initiate the discussion, beginning with the Planning Board, on its own.

Frank Bartkiewicz, Planning Board secretary, said one of the major projects the board worked on last year was a sign ordinance, which the council recently approved. The board held eight public hearings on the plan.

Bartkiewicz called for opening better communication with other boards and committees.

Maureen Reno, chairman of the Energy Committee, said the group would like a clearer direction from the town on its role. The committee also needs to know how it can better advise the town on helping to reduce energy costs, she said.

Karen Brandford-Anderson, chairman of the Heritage Commission, updated the council on some of the group’s activities. One of its duties includes running the Derry History Museum, which houses thousands of photographs of the town. The commission also conducts tours of the museum for local schools and other groups, she said.

Other boards and committees that appeared at the meeting included the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Highway Safety Committee.


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